NEW YORK - Money managers are no more satisfied with using in-house, proprietary portfolio accounting systems than are investors using commercial portfolio accounting packages, a survey of portfolio accounting system users found.
Advisors' Back-Office Group, New York, surveyed 50 firms that manage more than $150 billion and hold more than 18,000 investment portfolios. The survey was performed throughout March, said Patricia A. Brennan, president of Advisors' Back-Office Group.
Some in-house portfolio accounting systems are sophisticated and customized; others are not. Many of the most popular commercial portfolio accounting packages were mentioned in the survey. Those surveyed found many good points in Axys, made by Advent Software Inc., San Francisco.
Users said they liked the flexibility and ease of use, the ability to do complex calculations and its Microsoft Windows compatibility. They also liked the easy downloading capabilities from a variety of clearing firms. But one user said he wished for speedier answers on technical support questions. Another user complained that it was easy to accidentally delete information. The system's cost effectiveness, flexibility, ability to run reports and search for information on large groups of portfolios were among its greatest strengths.
Users of New York-based Shaw Data Systems Inc.'s? On-line System praised its trading system, ability to handle multicurrency accounting and its reliability. One said he thought the system was weak in support for many fixed-income security types. Another user wished the system was quicker and easier to modify. Overall, users said its processing of U.S. denominated equities, trading support, client support and multicurrency ability were among its greatest strengths.
Money managers using Nidsport portfolio accounting systems from National Investor Data Services, Southampton, N.Y., liked its ease of operation, performance measurement capabilities, reliability and client services. But one user wanted it to have greater ability to interface with other vendors. Another user said the system was weak on decision support and trading features. Users said Nidsport had excellent client service, good technical support and that it was user friendly.
Professional Portfolio, a DOS-based portfolio accounting system by Advent, was lauded for its ability to modify existing reports, speed, menus, reporting capabilities. One person complained about its customer support and another about what he said was its inability to store historical information on securities. Users said the systems' greatest strengths is its ease of use for daily trading, customization and automated procedures.
The New York-based Data Exchange's Portfolio Accounting System won points for its flexibility, menus, transaction processing and open architecture, but wished it had better fixed-income capabilities.
The Advisors' Back-Office Group survey includes overall conclusions, many more comments, other portfolio accounting systems and system costs. For information, contact Ms. Brennan at (212) 557-1362.